Hockey IQ: Pageau thinks the game exceptionally well. He routinely anticipates opponents’ decisions and can generate counterattacking opportunities from the ensuing turnovers. In the offensive zone, he does well to find soft spots in coverage and will pick a smart, safe pass over low-percentage bids that surrender possession.
Defense: As a mini-Bergeron of sorts, Pageau is perpetually on the right side of the puck. That diligence has landed him in a shutdown role. He works his tail off and acts as a thorn in the side of top competition. Moreover, he’s developed into a brilliant faceoff man and penalty-killer.
Fearless: Despite a modest frame, Pageau doesn’t back down from anyone and believes in his ability to outwork you all over the ice. He battles hard in the trenches and has become a reliable net-front presence too. Few undersized players are as competitive as Pageau. This is why he’s emerged as a big-time playoff performer.
Size: A 6’2”, 200-pound Pageau would be a force of nature. Alas, he’s 5’10”, 180 pounds soaking wet. This means he can occasionally find himself physically outmatched in the corners and in puck-protection scenarios. At his size, there’s very little margin for error.
Offensively Limited: While his instincts are great, his actual tools are only serviceable. Also, he’s such a responsible player that he sacrifices offense for team success. As such, Pageau will never fill up the scoresheet like a top-six forward. His production sees an uptick in the playoffs, but for the most part, he will post around 35-45 points in the regular season.